Thursday, May 17, 2007

Dubai Burj al-Taqa skyscraper to generate all its own energy

Posted May 14th 2007 8:16AM by Conrad Quilty-Harper

A skyscraper in Dubai is being designed so that it generates all of its energy through renewable means such as wind turbines and solar panels. On top of the tower will be a 200 foot turbine that harnesses the power of the wind, and an array of solar panels on the roof and a series of islands that stretches over 161,459 square feet. The tower will also feature a massive solar shield to protect it from the sun, and vacuum glazed glass that will reduce the amount of heat absorbed from the extreme temperatures (up to 50 degrees C / 122 degrees F), presumably meaning less reliance on traditional air conditioning. Talking of air conditioning, the main system for cooling the air inside the tower uses a convection system which pulls in cold air at the ground level, and sucks it up out of the top of the tower. The air conditioning will use seawater, and underground cooling units lower the temperature inside to 18 degrees C / 64.4 degrees F. This building may be a technological beacon for environmentally friendly skyscrapers, but as a commenter on metaefficient points out, new building designs don't do much to solve the inefficiency of older buildings in cities. Although that doesn't mean we can't imagine what it'd be like to work and live in a sea of glass and metal without feeling slightly bad about it. [Via Metaefficient]